The sclera is the white, outer coat of the eye. When this area becomes inflamed, the condition is called scleritis.
What is going on in the body?
The sclera, which is made up of protein and connective tissue, becomes inflamed and irritated. If untreated, the disease may last a long time. Even with proper treatment, it is likely to recur. Complications from the disease can cause serious eye damage or loss of the eye.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Once in a while the sclera may become infected with bacteria or other organisms, such as those that cause syphilis. However, most cases are linked to some form of autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is one in which the body produces antibodies against its own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are autoimmune disorders that may cause scleritis.